*+-Tom Hayden: The disgrace is that 414 American troops died in 2011, largely to save America’s reputation, and 94 more have been lost during the first four months of this year.
*+-Thirty U.S. American troops reported killed Saturday in an Afghanistan helicopter crash emphasizes the need for the U.S. to end operations sooner rather than later in that theatre of war, according to a Iraq/Afghanistan U.S. Marine veteran, who now is chair of the Veterans Caucus of the California Democratic Party.
*+-Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.
*+-Sherwood Ross: Outside of the White House, is it possible to find an American anywhere who believes that the presence of U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan is essential to our national security — particularly when we have some 800 bases around the world ready to deploy troops at the drop of a bomb?
*+-Ivan Eland: Missile defense is an expensive relic of the Cold War, which the U.S. can no longer afford given its huge budget deficits and high debt levels. Keeping the program alive are Republicans who want to preserve this white elephant to realize the grandiose “Star Wars” dream of their hero, Ronald Reagan.